Centennial sophomore Kylee Farrer fills big shoes for women’s soccer team
As a young player on a young team, Kylee Farrer knows this season of women’s soccer is all about taking baby steps.
The second year of Centennial High School shifted to a leadership role with the departure of several elders. And it hasn’t been easy in a program that has high expectations every year.
The Bulldogs win or compete for the South Central League title every season and are a playoff staple.
But with 18 of the 22 players on their roster in either sophomore or first year, continuing the success of the past won’t be easy.
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Approach of this season
Farrer, along with fellow sophomores Haylie Villalpando and Rylee Sterling (the coach’s daughter), walked into big shoes to fill when several seniors graduated.
Nonetheless, Farrer is up for the challenge.
“I think we knew we were going to lose a lot, but we believe in our team,” she said. “It’s a young team with a lot of first-years.”
Centennial scored 68 team goals last season, including 53 by seniors.
This puts a lot of pressure on Farrer and her teammates to take over.
Centennial head coach Jeff Sterling admits the team didn’t directly discuss the topic.
“We haven’t talked about them as replacements,” Sterling said. “We only have three seniors in our whole group. We only have three who can drive for training themselves.
“There’s a certain pressure to score goals. All the goals we’ve scored this season are from Kylee or Haylie.”
Grow in the field
This group of Bulldogs have played many games together over the years. They have been together for more than a decade in club teams coached by Sterling. It gives unity and camaraderie.
“Having that connection helps to play with each other,” Farrer said.
Sterling knows Farrer very well.
“I’ve been with her since she was 6 or 7,” Sterling said. “More recently, for the past two years, her, Villalpando and my daughter have been playing together. I had all three of them in (social studies) class.”
A natural goalscorer
Scoring the ball comes naturally for Farrer, who is currently leading the team in goal.
She scored four of the Bulldogs’ seven goals in the first three games.
Last season, as a freshman, she registered five goals and five assists in a team made up of seniors.
“For me, I’ve always used it in an attacking position,” Sterling said. “We need her to be a goalscorer for us. That’s how we play her.”
Take one match at a time
Farrer admits Centennial is in something of a rebuilding year and it will take time for this team to meet program expectations.
“I think it’s a learning year,” she said. “Next year we’ll have a pretty strong squad. We’ll have a bit more experience. It’s a learning year, but we still want to win.”
Sterling agrees with Farrer’s assessment.
“We have girls who have played at a high level for a long time and some girls who have played at a high level of club football,” Sterling said. “It’s a learning year based on our youth. Some of the girls we put in matches have only played football since February.”
Chieftain Senior Sports Writer Jeff Letofsky can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @jeffletofsky